Arts & Entertainment

It's Story Slam time in the Middle Keys

The Marathon Community Theatre is looking for some good liars.

Search your memory bank for that time you got caught in a lie. Was it funny after the fact or was it a great life lesson? Or maybe it was a friend or family member?

That's the crux of a Story Slam set for 7 p.m. May 15 at the theater, around mile marker 49.5 oceanside of U.S. The rules and advice:

  • Time limit. The emcee will notify you at the five-minute mark that you have one minute remaining. If you go over the one-minute wind-up period, the emcee will notify you and allow a few seconds for you to wind up before stepping on stage to end the story. Be prepared to relinquish the mike.

  • Just the story -- no props, costumes or musical accompaniment. No cheat sheet, notes or paper either.

  • Stories are told, not read. Know your story by heart but not by rote memorization.

  • Stakes are essential in storytelling. What do you stand to gain or lose? Why is what happens in the story important to you? If you can't answer this, then think of a different story. A story without stakes is an essay and is best experienced on the page, not the stage.

  • Have a great first line that sets up the stage or grabs attention. No "so I was thinking about climbing this mountain. But then I watched a little TV and made a snack and took a nap and my mom called and vented about her psoriasis."

  • Steer clear of meandering endings. They kill a story. Your last line should be clear in your head before you start. Bring the audience along with you as you contemplate what transpires in your story, but remember, you are driving the story and must know the final destination. Keep your hands on the wheel.

  • Watching you panic to think of the next memorized line is harrowing for the audience. Make an outline, memorize your bullet points and play with the details. Enjoy yourself. Imagine you are at a dinner party, not a deposition.

  • No stand-up comedy, no rants.

Cost to enter is $10 at the door. The winner gets $100.